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Emu Egg
Emu Egg

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Joined: 10 Jan 2022
Gender: Male
Posts: 8
Location: Sweden

30 Jan 2022, 7:40 am

For most of my life I've been either self employed or un-. (Including many years as a househusband.) I'm an absolutely terrible employee in most fields. First, I'm slow, because I can't learn routines or manual skills to the point where they're automatic. So I stop and think what I'm doing in situations where most people do it without a pause, and all those little hesitations add up. When I studied at University I dreaded laboratory practicals, because I was always the last one finishing, trying to get the last step done and recorded when everyone else had gone home and the lab staff stood around waiting to clean up my bench.

Secondly, I'm rubbish at taking orders. I'll mishear what I'm told, or forget an essential step, or simply see what looks like a better way of doing it, but isn't the way I was supposed to use.

All that ceased to be a problem when my family started a business with a travelling stall, which became a shop. At first I just helped out loading and unloading, because I couldn't face the idea of dealing with customers. But I wrote myself a handful of stock lines I could repeat without being tongue-tied, and developed them into a set of routines which became a really successful mask.

I came to love being behind the stall, because in that role I could interact with people safely, knowing who I was, what they expected of me and how to get their approval. (Approval measured in cash, so there couldn't be any doubt.) One of our regular venues was the big science fiction conventions, and when the shop was doing well my family asked if I wouldn't rather go to a con just as a visitor, without the stall taking up my time. I said no thanks: I enjoyed cons as a trader, when the dealers' room closed I didn't know how to talk to people.

I retired just before the pandemic closed down the markets. But I'm hoping that this year I can start taking my old stall to a few of the best events again. Not because I need the money, but so I can enjoy the ego strokes of being everyone's favourite stallholder. He's a much most interesting person than me!


Oh better far to live and die under the brave black flag I fly,
Than play a sanctimonious part with a pirate head and a pirate heart.